New nursery programme now includes water conservation

12 July 2023

If you have worked in nursery production for at least three years and are keen to extend your technical skills, the refreshed Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga New Zealand Certificate in Nursery Production (Level 4) has the key skills to grow your career.

After a review and input from industry experts, the programme now includes new areas of knowledge with optional skills to suit all nursery businesses. It is now available as a programme (rather than an apprenticeship) and the length of time it takes to complete has reduced. 

One of the key changes is the inclusion of knowledge about water conservation and how this applies to those working in a horticulture operation.  

“Recent weather events have brought plenty of rain to some parts of the country, while other regions have been significantly affected by drought and water bans,” says Primary ITO sector manager for nursery production, Tom Antscherl. 

“Knowing how to conserve water including recycling and reusing is very important, especially to guarantee the supply of this critical resource.” 

Other updates to the programme include growing plants and specimens in soil-less media, as well as identifying and selecting appropriate plants for landscape work. 

“It’s especially useful for those working in nursery production to be able to identify which plants would suit a particular landscape project,” Tom says. 

“Overall, this is a technical qualification for those involved in propagating in the horticulture industry. It’s about upskilling people today to keep businesses growing, while also futureproofing the industry.” 

Some of the fundamentals of the programme include implementing and monitoring plant propagation plans, quality standards and regulatory requirements, and packaging and dispatching in a nursery production workplace. Carrying out maintenance of vehicle, plant, machinery, and equipment in a primary industry workplace is also a key outcome. 

The training programme takes 20 months to complete, is completed mostly on-the-job with a maximum of four off-job training days. 

For more information or to enrol, complete the contact form below and we’ll connect you with your local nursery production Training Adviser.